Nonprofit organisations in Maryland will almost certainly need to designate and have a registered agent.

 

A registered agent receives any official documents from the State of Maryland, as well as any service of process filed on a firm in a litigation.

What Is a Resident Agent in Maryland?

A resident agent is a professional who will represent your company to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation while you are doing business. In certain jurisdictions, resident agents are referred to as registered agents, statutory agents, or service of process agents.

Typically, your resident agent will receive mail on your behalf, such as compliance information and tax alerts. Resident agents are also in charge of receiving process paperwork. This simply means that if your organisation is sued, your resident agent will receive the court summons and paperwork on its behalf.

The following are the criteria for resident agents in Maryland:

They might be either native or international persons or businesses.
Individuals must be Maryland residents and above the age of 18.
To operate in Maryland, businesses must be registered.
They must have a physical address in Maryland (not simply a P.O. box).
During normal business hours, they must always be accessible at the specified physical location.

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In Maryland, may I act as my own resident agent?

As long as they complete the standards given above, anybody may act as your nonprofit’s resident agent. You may function as your nonprofit’s resident agent, or you can choose a member of your board of directors or a trustworthy friend.

If you choose to serve as your organization’s resident agent, you must recognise the significance of the role. If you miss a filing date or lose a document, your nonprofit’s compliance status may be jeopardised, and the State Department of Assessments and Taxation may revoke your company registration.

Many organisations and other companies engage a professional registered agent service to guarantee that their company is always in compliance.

Should My Nonprofit Hire a Registered Agent in Maryland?

Before you choose a Maryland registered agent service, think about the benefits and drawbacks of this technique.

Advantages

There are various reasons why you should consider employing a registered agent service for your nonprofit organisation. This strategy, in particular, can:

Save Time: When you initially establish your Maryland charity, you must concentrate on doing everything possible to ensure its success. Hiring a skilled registered agent allows you to concentrate on what matters most while the registered agent handles all incoming mail and formal notifications. Furthermore, they will often remind you of approaching key files or deadlines.
Protect Your Personal Privacy and the Reputation of Your Company: Unfortunately, your company may face a lawsuit at some point. All service of process notifications will be sent to a business address if you engage a professional registered agent service. Law enforcement officials may deliver these notifications to your home or workplace if you operate as your own resident agent, depending on the address on file.

Registered agent services are used to receiving and correctly processing legal documentation, in addition to preserving your privacy and the reputation of your firm. This will assist to guarantee that your company does not lose a lawsuit on a technicality because you failed to submit anything on time or handled something incorrectly due to a lack of understanding of how the legal system operates.
Ensure that your business mail is handled promptly: Because the major function of a registered agent service is to act as a registered agent for a variety of organisations, you can be certain that any mail they receive will be addressed quickly. They will also be accessible during regular business hours to address any queries you may have concerning these papers.
Maintain Your Nonprofit’s Compliance: You must keep your organisation in compliance with the rules of the state of Maryland and the federal government (if you are granted 501(c)(3) status). Hiring a registered agent service can assist you avoid missing any filings.
Provide Convenience: During business hours, resident agents must be present at their specified residence. That is, using a registered agent service will enable you to take time off as required and work on a flexible schedule if wanted.
Provide National Serve: If you believe your organisation may desire to expand nationally, choose a national registered agent service that will continue to support you as your firm expands.

Disadvantages

The sole downside of using a registered agent service is that it is expensive, while you may serve as your own resident agent for free.

Is a Professional Registered Agent Service Required?

While employing a professional registered agent service is a good idea for many reasons, in other cases it is required. If you answered “yes” to any of the following questions, your organisation should use a registered agent service.

Is your non-profit open at odd hours? As previously stated, your nonprofit’s resident agent must be accessible during normal business hours at their indicated address. If your organisation operates outside of typical business hours, you’ll need to engage a registered agent service.
Do you reside in another state? The resident agent of your nonprofit must be a resident of the state in which it is formed. If you do not live in Maryland, you must engage a Maryland resident agent to represent your organisation.
Is your charity now or will it be situated in many states? If your organisation now operates in many states or intends to do so in the future, you must select a registered agent in each state where it will do so. You must employ a registered agent service since you cannot be in two locations at the same time.
Will you continue to function without a physical address? If you want to run your charity entirely online or without a physical location, you will lack a business address to provide on your Articles of Incorporation and other crucial legal papers. Hiring a competent registered agent allows you to include their actual address on all papers.

How Do I Select a Maryland Resident Agent?

When you submit your Maryland nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation, you must name a resident agent. In Maryland, the fundamental nonprofit creation document is the Articles of Incorporation.

Online Resident Agent Nomination

You may submit the Articles of Incorporation for your organisation and pay the $170 filing fee online via Maryland Business Express. You will be able to name your nonprofit’s resident agent when you finish the Articles of Incorporation online.

You must declare that your resident agent has agreed to their appointment throughout the online filing procedure.

Mailing a Resident Agent Nomination

To create your Maryland nonprofit by mail, download the Articles of Incorporation form, fill it out completely, and ship it to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (along with the $170 filing fee). Section 5 will include the name and contact information for your resident agent.

Your resident agent must sign the Articles of Incorporation form to confirm their appointment.

How Do I Change the Resident Agent of My Nonprofit in Maryland?

Simply make the change online or fill out a Resolution to Change Resident Agent form and send it to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation along with the $25 filing fee to officially change your Maryland nonprofit’s resident agent.

You must acquire the permission of your new resident agent to their appointment, either by expressing it during the online filing procedure or by having them sign the Resolution to Change paperwork.

Conclusion

When you work at a charity, you have more essential things to worry about than monitoring the mail, submitting legal paperwork, and remembering compliance deadlines. A resident agent can help you with that. When you engage a professional registered agent service, you can put these responsibilities in their skilled hands and completely concentrate on what is most important to your firm.

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